This was going to just be a post on my Facebook page, but I figured I had a lot to say and this is something that all brides-to-be can benefit from. What sparked this is that today is our 3 year wedding anniversary! Thank you to Anthony from SNAP Wedding Photography Christchurch for our amazing wedding photos above.
Its no surprise that I see a LOT of weddings, I've seen and heard a lot of things, and I've also been in that position myself. Because I tend to spend more time with the Bride & Groom on their big day I take very seriously that my position is always to be calm, friendly and help keep things running smooth (as much as a photographer can!). I just wanted to share a few tips to make your day that little bit less stressful:
- Don't let the small things stress you out - just don't! I'll be honest, you are pretty much the only one that cares about the small details, none of your guests will know, or remember whether you did/didn't have wedding favours for example. They will remember a happy bride and groom, good food, and a good time.
- Things WILL go wrong - big or small, something won't go to plan, and it's ok. I've yet to attend a wedding that a bride said to me afterwards "everything went to plan". Be present in your day - if something doesn't go right don't let it consume you, let it go and figure out how to rectify the issue or delegate the task.
- One of your family/friends/guests/vendor (insert person here) will annoy or upset you, this is another thing that WILL happen, unfortunately it's the nature of weddings. You may have to uninvite them, demote their position, or fire them. It sucks I've been there, its like ripping off a band aid, do it quickly and don't draw it out, because if you do nothing you will regret it.
- If your budget is tight have a list of both yours and your fiancés non-negotiables. Search for cheaper options for the rest (we saved around $10k doing this) we still got everything we wanted. Remember the only things you NEED are the celebrant/registrar, yourselves, the piece of paper and witnesses.
- You cannot control the weather - don't stress about it. Our day was forecast to be a massive storm up until the day before, it was 30+ degrees and not a cloud in the sky, it was so, so hot I think rain would have been welcomed. Have a rain backup, or just buy some umbrellas. I've photographed a beach wedding in rain before, it still went perfectly - the bride never once said her day was ruined!
- If there is anything you can delegate, do it! Bridemaids/men Groomsmen/women even families are there to help, use it.
- The ONLY things I have left from my day are my photos and I treasure them (I still have my dress but it's tucked away in the wardrobe still dirty and never gets seen). Don't skimp out on what will give you lasting memories ie. photography and videography. Get the best quality you can afford. I've had a few friends go with whoever was cheaper (this is never the cheaper option in the end) and they say it was their biggest regret, I've also seen it a number of times in bridal groups too. Which brings me to my next point...
- PRINT your photos, get a canvas, an album or whatever. I do have all my digital images, but we havn't touched them in about 2 years, what we do look at regularly and show friends/family is our album. Even with lots of people looking through it - it still looks brand new, quality over quantity.
- Enjoy every single moment - remember it is just one day and it goes fast. Eat and hydrate enough so you don't spend the day feeling sick or fatigued. Especially when you are out getting bridal photos, this can take anywhere from 1 - 3 hours, pack a picnic for you and your bridal party.
- Less is often more - enough said (apart from food, make sure your guests have enough to eat).
- Most of all....DON'T let other people run your day, remember this is about you and your fiancé - not what everyone else thinks/wants you cannot please everyone. Unless people are paying for the wedding or putting in a large amount of it (then I believe it's polite to let them have SOME input towards the day - thats just my personal view), make the day YOURS as a couple, be a team and ENJOY the process!!!
And if all else fails - remember you will laugh about it in a few years. Want some help planning? I still have a few of my She Said Yes Wedding Planners up for grabs when you book your wedding photography though me, read more about it here.